When triplets Madison, Lacey and Abby Rifkin went off to college (with two of them moving to the West Coast and one coming to Boston), they knew they would need to make an extra effort to keep in touch. One of the trio’s favorite ways to stay connected was through food, specifically sharing photos of their food. Today, they still share their culinary findings with one another but also with over 24,000 others online. Read on to find out the three words they use to describe Boston’s restaurant scene, details on the festival they hope to one day host and their top spot for brunch.
Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?
We are triplets, born one minute apart. We spent our entire childhood together, playing the same sports, attending the same classes, and being each other’s best friends. When it came time to look at colleges, Madi knew Boston was the place for her, specifically Northeastern University. The food scene, the city, and change from Colorado were appealing. Lacey and Abby decided on a different direction that brought them to the West Coast, at Santa Clara University.
@Coastal_Foodie came to life as a result of our separation in our college journeys. We found that because physically we were apart, we turned to social media to share our respective experiences which mostly revolved around the fun foods we were eating. We were connecting through food. It became competitive — we would share food photos back and forth through text trying to see who could find the best dish. We then realized we could do this on a bigger scale and include our friends through Instagram. Thus @Coastal_Foodie was created. We couldn’t settle on a name at first calling it @Mad_eats, but then it eventually came to us that the name should be @Coastal_Foodie as our geographic locations lent us to the east coast and west coast. This was in December of 2016. Flash forward to now, 2019, and we have over 24K followers and proudly wear the hat of social media influencers. We aren’t really sure what clicked but everything seemed to align. The first few hundred followers were a challenge to get but after that, our fan base seemed to grow giving us the incentive to keep finding the best and quality content to post.
Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.
What do you think the next big trend is for restaurants?
From our experience in various different culinary markets around the U.S. and globally, we are more readily seeing a trend in the food scene where the restaurants that thrive are ones that have new and innovative food. Think viral photos of over the top extravagant food. This especially is successful in our technologically-driven societal trends today with huge social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc.
We have even looked into hosting a festival revolving around Instagrammable foods. We would bring the best food influencers from around the country as well as the top instagrammable foods/restaurants to one place where everyone can enjoy. A true @Coastal_foodie experience!
Which chefs are your favorite to follow on Instagram and why?
Dominique Ansel (@dominiqueansel): We love following his Instagram. We remember when he first invented the Cronut and how we would admire that creation from afar in Colorado. We had always wanted one and it wasn’t until Madi went to school in Boston and visited New York that she got to try one. It was such a delicious pastry. His empire had come a long way as he now has many different concepts and locations around the world. One of my biggest passions is entrepreneurship and I was able to see Dominique Ansel take his idea and bakery and follow through to make it a known brand and company.
We also admire Teri Rippeto, a Denver-based chef. She was one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement. This is by far one of our favorite additions to the culinary scene. She is able to celebrate Denver’s local farmers, ranchers, cheesemongers, and many more to hone in on her unique flavors. We don’t pass up an opportunity to stop by Potager when home in Denver.
Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow?
Describe Boston’s food scene in three words.
Creative, Energetic, Evolving
Which restaurants haven’t you been to but you’re eager to try?
What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos?
Keep it natural. I think the best tip is trying to put yourself in the place of one of our followers looking at our content. What would they want to see? This often leads to a focus on not only food that looks good but really aesthetically (color, angel and, lighting) is visually stimulating to our audience. Just have fun with it!
A Few Of Your Favorite Things:
Favorite brunch spot: Tapestry
Favorite place for outdoor dining: Earl’s outdoor seating area on rooftop
Favorite BBQ joint: Redbones BBQ
Favorite late-night: Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar
Favorite neighborhood for food: Southie
Favorite new restaurant: Rail Stop Restaurant and Bar